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Pakistan and UN to host event with Mukhtaran

January 26, 2006

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UNITED NATIONS, Jan 25: The Pakistan mission and the United Nations have agreed to jointly host an event with Mukhtaran Mai at the world body headquarters, a UN spokesman announced here on Wednesday. The date and time will be announced later.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram said that the decision to cancel the event had been taken at a lower level and “the Pakistan government will be happy to host an event with Mai at the United Nations”.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to the secretary general, said that “following a phone call between UN Chief of Staff Mark Malloch Brown and Ambassador Munir Akram, we will be contacting the NGO which sponsored her visit to see how we can bring her back to the UN so she can speak at the headquarters.”

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who was questioned about the cancellation of the Mai event at a press conference said he was unaware of any such decision. He spoke about Mai’s struggle to secure justice for the abused women of Pakistan and said that the government supported her mission.

The incident provoked an outcry in the international media.

Mukhtaran Mai told Dawn that Prime Minister Aziz was always gracious and responsive to her and had encouraged her to speak out.